Super Awesome Eco-Friendly Paper Products [Part I]

On March 17, 2011, in Guest Posts, Paper, Recycling, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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We like eco-friendly products around here, so we’re very excited to have Julie Bestry share some of her favorites. This is two-part post, so be sure to check back next week to see what else is on her list.

When we try to select eco-friendly office supplies, it seems we often face a battle between green guilt and greenbacks. On the one hand, we want to be kind to the planet and feel a tad guilty each time we opt for a non-green solution. On the other hand, the more eco-friendly a product is, the more exotic it tends to be. For example, there are paper products made of everything from wheat to stone to elephant and sheep…um…byproducts. And, not surprisingly, exotic, eco-friendly paper supplies tend to be expensive.

Today, I’d like to offer up my favorite green paper-related office supplies. They’re not only gentle on the planet — they’re gentle on the pocketbook as well.

Post-It® Notes

It’s hard to find an office, from the smallest kitchen nook to the fanciest executive suite, that doesn’t make use of sticky notes. People use them for reminders, for labels, even for personal affirmations. While we’ll leave aside the efficacy of having so many little fluttering squares competing for our attention, it’s hard to ignore that nagging voice that says using so much paper is bad for Mother Earth.

Enter 3M’s Post-It® Sustain line.

Greener Notes take the notion of “It’s not easy being green” to a new level – apparently, it’s so hard to be green that the Greener Notes are only available in Canary Yellow! These notes are not only made of 100% recycled paper, but the sticky part of the sticky note is made of a plant-based adhesive. Fewer chemicals mean less energy is used for production, which means a lighter carbon footprint. Greener Notes are packaged 100 to a pad, with twelve pads to a package.

But you say you need more color in your life and Canary Yellow clashes with your paperwork?

Post-It® SuperSticky Recycled Notes are available in multiple colors (and sizes), and come lined or unlined. These notes are guaranteed made from 30% post-consumer (i.e., recycled) content.

Happily, all Post-It® Notes are Sustainable Forestry Initiative (FSI) Chain-of-Custody Certified, which means that the paper comes from ethically- and well-managed forests where trees are replanted. Indeed, the Buy One, Plant One initiative from 3M and Post-It® can help you further squelch your green guilt. Locate the promotion code on eligible recycled products, register at the Post-It® site and a tree will be planted in honor of your purchase.

While there are generic sticky note alternatives, I’ve found that the adhesive fails to stand the test of time. However, I have a charming pink Post-It® SuperSticky Recycled Note that’s been affixed to a vertical Formica surface since November. I’ve removed it frequently to dust and clean, but it reattaches with all the same stick-to-itiveness it had the first day.


Bankers Boxes®

For a tree-based product, Fellowes’ Bankers Boxes® actually have a pretty good environmental record, especially compared to similar functioning plastic storage items. Most of the boxes in the company’s basic-, extra- and maximum-strength lines are made of at least 65% recycled product. However, the Bankers Box® Earth Series line include Stor/File® (medium-duty and extra-strength) and R-Kive® (maximum-strength) boxes made of 100% recycled materials.

The box shown above is a standard letter/legal version (10.25″ x 12.5″ x 16.25″) with a lift-off locking lid, a stacking weight capacity of 550 pounds and a suggested retail price of $6.70. It comes with sturdy double-end, double-bottom, single-side construction and quickly unfolds into place, from flat-packaged to three-dimensional in seconds with FastFold Assembly.

Variations on the theme include letter- and legal- sized recycled File/Stor® boxes with flip-top lids as well as those with fold-in lids and string-and-button closures.

The Recycled R-Kive® boxes have triple-end, double-bottom, double-side construction and a special smoothed rolled-over edges to increase overall strength and prevent paper cuts. (If you’ve ever had a corrugated cardboard paper cut, you know what a value this feature is!)


Check back next week to see Julie’s final two super-awesome eco-friendly paper product picks. Wow, say that three times fast. =)


About The Author

Julie Bestry is a Certified Professional Organizer, speaker and author, who helps individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems. Although a generalist, Julie specializes in paper organizing, blogs as the Paper Doll, and publishes Best Results for Busy People: Organizing Your Modern World. For more information, visit Best Results Organizing at

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